The Maine Event

I'm sitting here, after renting a tux and grabbing a sandwich at Starbucks, and realize I just posted a brief note on the fifth state in the US to grant marriage equality. As if this were now routine. As if it were no big deal. As if what was only recently a pipe-dream hasn't become a reality.
Even after the terrible disappointment in California, the achievements of this year are pretty remarkable in the history of civil rights. And what has made this remarkable, I think, has been the way in which ordinary people and families found the courage to testify and argue and stand up for the truth in their lives. That is a psychological and spiritual achievement - to see one's own worth in the face of widespread hostility and to fight for it until majorities are persuaded. It is not without its costs or risks or moments of deep anxiety. But that's what courage means.

The shift toward legislative action is also crucial, and I hope it becomes the norm. I'm not one of those who believe that courts have no role in defending minority rights; but I am one who believes that legislative action has intrinsically more democratic legitimacy than court rulings. And I suspect that many in the middle of this are much more comfortable when we do it by the onerous, unpredictable democratic process than through mere court decisions.

So I sit here and toast with a small cappuccino and some petite vanilla bean scones like the big proud fag I am. A few years ago, this would have been front page news. Now it feels like history repeating. And justice slowly seeping up like a rising water table that becomes a mighty and joyous flood.